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Local Source Stocking Laird's Straight Apple Brandy (BIB 100 Proof)

I know this item appears and disappears sporadically (seasonally) - while Laird's Applejack (80 proof) is easy to find, this is very difficult right now - has anyone spotted this on local shelves anywhere in recent weeks? If so, do you remember the price? If not, what would you substitute (the 80 proof is a weak option in many cocktails calling for the BIB version)? Any specific, affordable Calvados options, for instance?

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  1. I haven't cracked the seal yet, but last weekend in NH, I bought a bottle of Josiah Bartlett apple brandy, made in New Hampshire from local apples in the style of Calvados. I'm sure they have local distro, and I'll report back with my thoughts when I try it. Probably tomorrow.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

        Big thumbs up from me, that's for sure.

        1. re: Allstonian

          Yes, we still haven't tried the Laird's BIB, but the Josiah Bartlett is outstanding.

      2. Do you know anyone in NJ. I live 20 mins from the Laird plant and bottles of their apple brandy aren't hard to find around here.

        1. Last place I heard that someone found it was Liquor World in Porter Square, but I cannot confirm that it is still there now. As for the NJ answer, I did get my last bottle at Astor Liquors in Manhattan for around $20/750mL. Most of Massachusetts allotment goes to bars and restaurants, not liquor stores.

          No Calvados will match the extra proof nor the whiskey barrel-like finish of BIB, but I do like Morin Selection at $22/750mL for mixing.

          http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

          4 Replies
          1. re: yarm

            I saw it at Liquor World within the last 2 weeks -- they seem to have it most times I'm there.

            1. re: Moppie

              I'm curious to know their connections. When I went to my local store (Ball Square), they showed me their catalog book and there was a gap between Laird's Applejack and the 7.5 and 12 year apple brandies where the bonded should be. They didn't know how to order it for me.

              With that said, we have a seemingly endless supply at the bar/restaurant at which I work.

            2. re: yarm

              Thanks - picked up the only bottle at Liquor World earlier today, along with the Morin Selection to try a taste test in our winter holiday cocktail, the Roma 46 (apple brandy, spiced reduced cider, cinnamon simple, lemon juice, and Fee's Old Fashioned bitters - it started as Josey's Northern Spy but I wasn't getting the apricot brandy to work in it and wanted more spices).

              1. re: rlh

                In case you didn't see it, Rachel Maddow did a segment on the Northern Spy cocktail (in which she credited Josey Packard). It can be seen at http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-sh...

            3. Liquor Land near Newmarket Square has plenty of the Laird's Bonded (100% straight apple brandy, 7.5 years oak aging, 100 proof) at the moment, $24 for 750ml. This is my standard for cocktails calling for applejack. The cheaper Laird's product is 65% grain neutral spirits, the mixto of apple brandies.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              2 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Thanks - I am far closer to Liquor World more often, but appreciate having an alternate and do love an excuse to stop into Liquor Land as well - the price is very fair!

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Picked up a bottle today at Liquor Land for $25 - plenty available - still a great selection in general there, but it seems like the prices have risen more the middle or higher end of the market - I have just been to Kappy's Medford recently and several items were markedly less, such as Clement VSOP at $40 vs. $35 - but Kappy's didn't have the Laird's or bitters I needed) - I just have to accept that no one-stop spirits shop exists for me.

                2. Martin Bros in Inman Square had it about two months ago, and have always seemed to stock it.